Entering his seventh season as the Green Wave's recruiting coordinator and his fifth as the associate head coach, Mark Kingston has proven to be an advanced teacher of fundamentals as well as an outstanding prospect hunter.
Long considered one of the best recruiters in the nation and a hot prospect for a head coaching job, Kingston will once again be responsible for the continued development of the Green Wave hitters and coach the catchers and infielders.
A tireless worker with a vast knowledge of the game, Kingston's ability to transfer his knowledge and experience to the student-athletes during his time in New Orleans has paid off in spades. During his tenure at Tulane, the Green Wave made the largest jump in rankings of schools by Baseball America, moving from No. 84 in 1997 and elevating 68 spots to No. 16 in a study released in 2007. In addition, Tulane was one of 16 teams across the nation to receive a grade of "A" for overall program performance in the last decade in a Baseball America study released in January.
A pair of Tulane hitters - James Jurries in 2002 and Michael Aubrey in 2003 - snapped an 18-year draught at the school as both posted .400 batting averages. Both earned All-America honors and were named Conference USA Player of the Year, and Jurries was named "Most Ready For The Major Leagues" by Baseball America in 2002. Aubrey represents Tulane's highest pick ever, going 11th overall to the Cleveland Indians in the 2003 MLB Draft.
In addition to his on-field work, Kingston has been tireless on the recruiting trail, where he has helped the Green Wave sign excellent classes that have included Major League draft picks and prep All-Americans. Each of his recruiting classes have been ranked highly by national publications, including landing a combined eight of the nation's Top 100 prospects in 2003 and 2004. The 2005 rookies ranked fourth in the nation by Baseball America and No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball, the 2006 crop was ranked 13th by Collegiate Baseball and last year's freshman class ranked 23rd. In addition, the recruiting class signed in November has already been ranked 11th.
During his tenure with the Green Wave, Kingston has coached 17 Major League draft picks, including first-rounders - Aubrey and Brian Bogusevic - helped 12 players earn All-Conference USA honors - including both the C-USA Freshmen and Players of the Year in 2005 and 2006 - and Tulane has posted school Top 10 marks in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, slugging percentage and stolen bases.
Kingston has experienced success at every stop of his collegiate playing and coaching career - helping the North Carolina Tar Heels advance to the College World Series as a player in 1989, serving as an assistant on the 2001 national championship Miami Hurricane program, and helping lead the Green Wave to the National No. 1 seed en route to the College World Series in 2005.
During Kingston's time in Miami, the Hurricanes finished with top five school single-season marks in batting average, runs scored and slugging percentage, and led the nation with 228 stolen bases in 2001. In the run to the 2001 national title, the 'Canes had an NCAA-best 17-0 run to end the season and set a College World Series record with 12.3 runs per game while hitting .373 as a team in Omaha.
Under Kingston's tutelage, two Hurricanes players earned All-America honors, three earned Freshman All-America recognition, rookie Kevin Howard was named the 2000 Baseball America National Freshman of the Year and 18 players went on to sign professional contracts.
Kingston spent the 1999 season at Illinois State where he helped the Redbirds set a school record for wins, runs scored, RBI, doubles, hits and walks while finishing second in school history in home runs, total bases and batting average. Fourteen of the 17 Redbird batters hit .300 or better as ISU improved from eighth to third in the Missouri Valley Conference offensive standings. He helped recruit the first Illinois State player since 1971 to earn All-America honors, and 10 players from that team eventually signed pro contracts.
Kingston began his coaching career at Purdue University in the fall of 1996 and worked his way up to the top assistant spot in 1998. Three of the top seven batting averages were posted during his two years in West Lafayette, and Kingston helped Purdue place five position players on the All-Big 10 team after not posting any the year before his arrival.
A Collegiate Baseball Top 50 Prospect and a draftee of the New York Yankees out of Potomac High in Northern Virginia where he helped the team win the 1988 state championship. A 2006 inductee into the Potomac Hall of Fame, Kingston decided to play collegiately at North Carolina. As a junior, he received the Trippe Bourne "Most Dedicated Player" Award for his outstanding work ethic and leadership, and was a team captain the following season. Kingston helped UNC win the ACC regular-season title and advance to the 1989 College World Series as a freshman, and he was instrumental in the team's championship run in the ACC Tournament and subsequent return trip to the NCAA Regionals as a sophomore.
After college, Kingston was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and went on to play five years at the professional level. He played rookie ball for the Brewers for one year before going on to play for the Peoria (A), Daytona (Advanced A) and Orlando Cubs (AA) in the Chicago Cubs organization. While a minor leaguer, he helped his teams win the 1995 Florida State League title, and participate in the 1996 Southern League playoffs.
He also wrote and produced two instructional videos for Championship Productions, "Keys to Consistent Hitting" and "Catching Drills and Fundamentals". He also was the only assistant coach chosen to write a chapter in "The Baseball Drill Book" produced by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Kingston received his bachelor's degree in communications from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1995. He is married to the former Letitia Kelly, and the couple has three children, Kailyn Grace (6), Cameron James (4) and Kathryn Patricia (infant).